In Remembrance: F. Wright Neely ’61, ’67PhD Died on April 13 2017

Frank “Wright” Neely, 77, of Urbana, passed away on April 13, 2017, at Champaign County Nursing Home.  A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Renner-Wikoff Chapel and Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Rd., Urbana.

Mr. Neely was born September 10, 1939, in Amarillo, Texas, to parents Mark Edward and Lottie (Wright) Neely. They preceded him in death.  Wright is survived by three children: Sophia Neely (and partner Suzanne Schoeneweiss), of Chicago, Illinois; Mark Neely (and wife Jill Christman) of Muncie, Indiana; and Juliet Neely Henigman (and husband Alan) of Savoy. He is also survived by: his brother, Mark E. Neely Jr. (and wife Sylvia), of State College, Pennsylvania; his former wife, Carol Thomas Neely, of Champaign; and his grandchildren, Craig, Ella, Henry, Levi, and Maya.

Wright attended Yale University, where he earned his PhD in 1967.  He taught philosophy at the University of Illinois for 40 years before retiring. His influential article, “Freedom and Desire,” appeared in The Philosophical Review in 1974. Wright was an amateur magician, lover of classical music, movie buff, and avid reader of mysteries, poetry, and books on subjects ranging from physics and cognitive science to history and linguistics.

Memorial contributions may be made to Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  Condolences may be offered online at

—Submitted by the family.

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